I referred to this hymn in Yahweh Shalom. After deciding I would try illustrating a hymn, I chose this one. The ocean treatment is new to me, and I haven’t painted many people yet. I was happy to find a photo of Horatio Spafford, and he was leaning on something which I turned into a ship rail.
Two years after the great Chicago fire in 1871, Horatio Spafford wrote this hymn as he passed the spot where his four daughters perished when the ship they and their mother were traveling on, sank. He was on his way to his wife. They had two more daughters and a son after this event. They lost their only son as a child.
While Horatio Spafford’s theology goes astray later in his life (for one reason or another), evidently he was trusting God with his circumstances at this time and wrote this beautiful hymn.